A heated war of words has broken out between two conservative groups over conflicting GOP freshmen orientation events scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Leaders of the Tea Party Patriots are accusing establishment Republicans of colluding with the Claremont institute to indoctrinate and corrupt new GOP Congressional representatives. Claremont Institute officials flatly deny the allegation, asserting that they merely agreed to sponsor an existing conference organized by incoming Republican freshmen on behalf of their colleagues.
The finger-pointing and poisonous blame games have since subsided, as the meetings in question took place yesterday afternoon. Reports are trickling in, and it sounds like both events were successful.
From a Tea Party Patriots activist who attended his group's function:
Guy, I'm a Hughniverse, Weekly Standard, Townhall, and Tea Party Patriot Conservative. As a local coordinator attending the TPP Conference in DC I can tell you that the luncheon was a success. A large number of Freshmen Congressmen attended and were given standing ovations. Edwin Meese did a super job framing the opportunity before us, and it was just one big lovefest. The swirling controversy is barely a speed bump in this transformative Tea Party movement.
From a conservative source with firsthand knowledge of the Claremont Institute event:
Yesterday went very well -- House leadership all came by except Boehner. Several other Members -- including the two candidates for Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Comm Chairman. [Turnout was] around 65 or so -- there were at least 15 that were still traveling in, and one joined us directly from driving in wearing a rugby shirt and won out jeans (he hit some traffic so came directly to the lunch)...Sources say several of the new members remain chagrined over a Tea Party Patriots' email that disseminated their personal contact information, but that frustration didn't prevent a number of them from attending the TPP conference anyway.
Hopefully this intra-movement rift is over, freeing up conservatives to spend their energy working together to block the Obama agenda and restore sanity to the country's governance.
UPDATE: Right on cue, here comes another potential doozy of a Center-Right coalition fissure.